How to Fix Your Overcooked or Undercooked Turkey, According to Chrissy Teigen
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the 160,000 new cases per day nationwide for the past week—the highest numbers since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking them in March—many Americans are following the CDC guidance and altering their Thanksgiving plans to be closer to home and more intimate in scale.
This is certainly a wise choice to lower the potential transmission rates and stress levels about any potential superspreader events. But it might be raising stress levels for some who have relied on other family members or friends to tackle turkey duty in years passed. This is where Chrissy Teigen flies in with her cape. (Well, where we imagine she does, at least!)
On Friday, Teigen teamed up with cookbook author and pal Adeena Sussman to host a live YouTube fundraiser they called "Tipsgiving" to support Jose Andrés' World Central Kitchen. During the 80-minute event, Teigen, Sussman and Teigen's mom Vilailuck (nicknamed Pepper) fielded fan questions and offered tips for some of the most common Thanksgiving mistakes—including that can-be-tricky turkey.
The brilliant part about her top six tips to salvage undercooked and overcooked turkey can even work if you outsourced the main dish to a local restaurant. If you take the temp (using something like this ThermoPro TP18 Ultra-Fast Digital Instant Read Thermometer; $19.99 amazon.com) and it's way higher or lower than 165°F, these tricks can save the day whether you roasted it from scratch or picked it up from a restaurant.
Chrissy Teigen's Ways to Fix an Overcooked Turkey
1. Go with gravy.
Don't submerge the bird, but coat it in broth or gravy like Pepper's 15-Minute Cheat'N Gravy to moisten the meat.
2. Head to the dark side.
Due to its location on the turkey, dark meat is exposed to less heat than white. That means the dark portions (drumsticks and thighs) are likely less overcooked.
3. Don't fear a little fat.
Since dryness is the biggest differentiator between perfectly cooked and overcooked meat, a drizzle of melted butter or olive oil can go a long way to make the meat seem succulent again.
Chrissy Teigen's Top 3 Ways to Fix an Undercooked Turkey
1. Keep calm and carve on.
If the temp is too low or the meat appears pink when you slice into it, carve the turkey into pieces (such as the thighs, drumsticks, breast, wings). Wrap each piece separately in foil and cook at 325°F, checking every 10 minutes, until the meat thermometer reads 165°F.
2. Baste the bird.
If you haven't started carving yet, brush the surface of the turkey in melted butter to add moisture and pop it back in the oven until it's done.
3. Reheat wisely.
Say you pull the roast out of the oven and are just about to carve and realize it's not quite done. Again, gravy can come in clutch. Teigen recommends smothering the turkey in gravy to help the meat stay juicy as you reheat it in the oven.
With these tips in your back pocket—and a festive fall cocktail in hand—you'll be as chill as Ina Garten as your turkey gets table-ready.